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Bike trails on Long Island: The best paths for families

What if parents could take the kids bike riding on a safe and scenic path with many of the cool amenities of the open road? Well, get the bikes out and pump up the tires. Here are public parks and boardwalks with paved trails, nary a car, and stops for history, picnics, fishing, swimming . . . and ice cream.
Note: Paths are multiple-use, so you’ll be sharing the way with pedestrians, in-line skaters and others. State law requires children younger than 14 to wear bicycle helmets. For other rules and regulations, plus safety tips, visit nwsdy.li/bpath. And make sure to call ahead to find out if there are parking and other fees.

Eisenhower Park, East Meadow

MILES 3  TERRAIN Flat  INFO 516-572-0348,
Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

MILES
TERRAIN Flat 
INFO 516-572-0348, nassaucountyny.gov 
RESTROOMS Yes 
FOOD CONCESSION Yes 
A complex web of multiuse paths connects soccer and baseball fields where spectators can watch amateur games for free on weekends.

A man and his son ride bikes at
Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

Teach the kids about history from World War II to 9/11 at the Veterans Memorial in Eisenhower Park. Picnic at one of the unreserved tables at Parking Field 3. Or see a free show at the Harry Chapin Lakeside Theater, where ice cream trucks congregate on concert nights.

Belmont Lake State Park, North Babylon

Triplets on a bike ride at Belmont Lake
Photo Credit: Newsday/Kirsten Luce

MILES 2.5
TERRAIN Flat
INFO 631-667-5055, parks.ny.gov/parks
RESTROOMS Yes
FOOD CONCESSION No
Picture-postcard scenery, a stone bridge and a small waterfall are highlights of a loop that also runs through woods flanked by benches and exercise stations.

Jasiah Feliciano of North Babylon, 3, enjoys a
Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

Take a photo at the War of 1812 cannons on the southwest shore of Belmont Lake. Lock up the bikes to shop for souvenirs in the gift shop, or pedal around the lake in a paddleboat. 
 

Long Beach Boardwalk

On this mild summer day a woman towing
Photo Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

MILES 2.2
TERRAIN Flat
INFO
516-431-1000
RESTROOMS Yes
FOOD CONCESSION No
Wide, clearly marked bike lanes zoom down the middle of the city’s historic boardwalk, rebuilt after superstorm Sandy.

Craig Hofer, Melissa Hofer, Alex Hofer, and Palma
Photo Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

End your jaunt on the Long Beach boardwalk with a swim in the Atlantic. (Call for beach fee information.) 

Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve, Lloyd Neck

Emily Shenkelman, 11, of Greenlawn, leads her parents
Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

MILES 27
TERRAIN Flat to hilly
INFO 631-423-1770, parks.ny.gov/parks
RESTROOMS Yes 
FOOD CONCESSION No 
A dozen trails crisscross this former Gold Coast estate on a peninsula jutting into Long Island Sound. 

A group of cyclists rest and take in
Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

Best for families with youngsters: 2.7-mile pedestrian loop trail 1, passing the equestrian stables and the historic main house on Lloyd Neck. Stop at the Masters Garage building for picnic tables, vending machines and restrooms. 

Jones Beach Bikeway

A man rides his bike at Jones Beach
Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

MILES
TERRAIN Flat
INFO parks.ny.gov/parks
RESTROOMS Yes 
FOOD CONCESSION Yes
Glide to the beach on Long Island’s premier bike path, which begins at Cedar Creek Park in Seaford. 

A bike rider heads out of an underpass
Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

From Cedar Creek Park in Seaford, it’s a 5.4-mile ride to Jones Beach’s East Bath House on the boardwalk. There you can either lock up your bike and stroll the boardwalk or keep cycling to food concessions, mini-golf, shuffleboard or a swim. Or, stay on the new extension on the north side of Ocean Parkway to pedal another 3.6 miles to Tobay Beach.

Heckscher State Park, East Islip

Daniel Furshpan, of Great River, takes advantage of
Photo Credit: James Carbone

MILES 4.5
TERRAIN Flat
INFO 631-581-2100, parks.ny.gov/parks 
RESTROOMS Yes FOOD CONCESSION No
Cycle to a panoramic view of Great South Bay. Osprey nests tower over the trail near Field 7 and the park campgrounds. 

A cyclist rides along the bike path at
Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

Playgrounds are located near Heckscher Park's parking fields 1 and 6. In peak summer season, cool off with a sweet from an ice cream truck or a swim at the bay beach (no waves) watched over by lifeguards. 

Bethpage State Park, Farmingdale

Omar Cortes Jr., Annalise Cortes, Rebecca Cortes (not
Photo Credit: Steve Remich

MILES 1 (connects to Bethpage Bikeway)
TERRAIN Flat
INFO 516-249-0701, parks.ny.gov/parks
RESTROOMS Yes 
FOOD CONCESSION Yes 
The Bethpage Bikeway runs about 14 miles from the Massapequa Long Island Rail Road station to Trail View State Park in Woodbury.

Sydney Monka, Alana Bardavid and Nancy Monka ride
Photo Credit: Steve Remich

The most family-friendly stretch begins at the Bethpage State Park picnic area and runs north through the park. It’s a short walk from the bike path to the polo grounds, where on Sundays kids under 12 can see a polo game (with live horses). Gates open at 2 p.m. and games start at 3. General admission costs $5. 

Cathedral Pines County Park, Middle Island

Cathedral Pines County Park in Middle Island offers
Photo Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

MILES 6.5 to 8 miles, depending on trail 
TERRAIN Flat to hilly 
INFO 631-852-5502, suffolkcountyny.gov 
RESTROOMS Yes 
FOOD CONCESSION No
Families with older kids can challenge their legs on this mountain biking trail at the headwaters of the Carmans River.

A female rider of the group Live Love
Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

 Optional trails at Cathedral Pines have hills. All riders are required to wear helmets, and eye protection is recommended. 

Valley Stream State Park

A bike path at Valley Stream State Park
Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

MILES 0.5  
TERRAIN Rolling
INFO 516-825-4128, parks.ny.gov/parks
RESTROOMS Yes 
FOOD CONCESSION Yes
Pack lunch and park your bikes at one of the hundreds of tables at this hidden gem of a picnic park. 

A trail map at Valley Stream State Park
Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

Separate playgrounds cater to kids ages 2-5 and 5-12. A new concession stand sells soda, water and ice cream cones. 

Hempstead Lake State Park, West Hempstead

A hiking and bike path in Hempstead Lake
Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

MILES 2.4 
TERRAIN Flat
INFO 516-766-1029, parks.ny.gov/parks 
RESTROOMS Yes 
FOOD CONCESSION Yes
The bike path winds around McDonald Pond, where kids up to age 15 can go freshwater fishing without a license. Or park your bike and ride a horse — a painted one, that is, on the park’s historic merry-go-round ($2 a ride).

Babylon- August 21, 2006: Bike riders takes advantage
Photo Credit: Freelance/Howard Schnapp

Relax at Hempstead Lake State Park's two playgrounds. There's usually an ice cream truck in summer.

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